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Catholic Review of: The Godless Delusion

Item Details

Patrick Madrid
Kenneth Hensley

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This item received 4 stars overall. (09/11/2010)

Orthodoxy: Mostly adheres to Church teachings.
Reading Level: Intermediate

 Brandon VogtBy Brandon Vogt (FL) - See all my reviews


A successful attack on modern atheism

Evaluator Comments

The cover of The Godless Delusion (Our Sunday Visitor, paperback, 255 pages) features a man sawing off the branch he’s sitting on, offering the perfect metaphor for the atheist position. Co-written by two renowned Catholic apologists, Patrick Madrid and Kenneth Hensley, the book shows how atheism is just as self-defeating as the man who destroys his own foundation.

As the “new atheists” gain traction in the modern world, many Christian authors have sought to mount a defense of Christianity. But this book is somewhat different. Instead of defending Christianity, Madrid and Hensley attack atheism full-force.

Both writers demonstrate how this new brand of atheism is not just wrong, but self-contradictory, impractical, and hypocritical. They describe how objectively claiming that there is no objective truth is self-contradictory, how most atheists don’t actually live lives reflecting their beliefs, and how atheists chastising ‘religious indoctrination’ force their own belief system on others just as relentlessly.

A good chunk of The Godless Delusion compares atheist arguments with the ramifications of their beliefs. The authors repeatedly use the logical tool “reduction ad absurdum”, which basically means that if the ramifications of an argument are absurd, then their premises must be flawed. In the case of atheism, this means that atheist regimes, the anarchy of immoral life, and life without objective truth are each absurdities that disprove the premises of atheism itself.

In order to reinforce its points, “The Godless Delusion” does include a good amount of repetitiveness; the authors could have proven their points in less than 250 pages. And despite the reasonableness of the author’s arguments, atheists will probably become frustrated reading this book because Madrid and Hensley sometimes write with condescension and routinely mock atheist beliefs. Both authors could have pursued their arguments with a little more charity.

But overall, The Godless Delusion successfully levels the atheist belief system. The book is clearly well-researched—it includes over 120 footnotes—and stands as one of the few books that goes on the offensive instead of the defensive. If you’re interested in a defense of Christianity look elsewhere, but for a dismantling of atheism check this book out.
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